Friday, May 30, 2014

It's My World and I'll Build it Anyway I Want! Not!

   I know most, if not all of these things, have been written about many times but it helps me to remember, as I'm world building, by repeating them.
   Unless you are writing a science fiction story based on a starship in deep space, your world will be similar to our own. Therefore it needs to follow the same basic rules of nature and science. Some of you might say, "That's obvious," but I have read some stories where that wasn't the case and they suffered for it.
   I believe writers who live above the equator naturally place their story in the northern hemisphere of their world. Subsequently, the farther north you go, the colder it gets and if your characters travel far south, the world becomes hotter. The opposite is true if you live in the southern hemisphere. No matter where you live, the higher in elevation you go, the colder it will become. Rivers always flow downhill from the source, either in the mountains or a tropical location with lots of rainfall and end up in an ocean or sea.
   For a world to be believable, there should be areas of agriculture to provide food and forest lands for building materials of wood and stone. Rivers, lakes and oceans all provide a source of food, an avenue for travel and provide a source of power, be it electrical or to drive a mill.
   I find it very helpful, as I'm developing a story, to have a notepad with a basic map of the world so I can fill in areas as the story progresses. If your character needs to travel from point A to point B, you will see that they might need to cross a mountain range or a large river. These are perfect places for things to go wrong and challenge your character, making the story more interesting.
   Bottom line is your world needs to be realistic and familiar to the reader. My personal opinion is that the best stories are character driven, based in a familiar world, so the reader can relate.
   There are probably some of you who may disagree. If you do, I would love to hear your opinions. I'll never be too old to learn something new.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree with you more, Roland. In a work centered around reality, the details have to be real, too. Or else, something's amiss. I would rather spend time researching facts that I'm not sure about, than have readers point out my inaccuracies. Depending on the story, the author's believability and credibility could be sacrificed. I want my readers to be able to check my statements, if they so choose, and conclude that either I knew what I was talking about or I had sense enough to look it up.